MSD invests €40m in Tipperary plant

Spray drying facility is the latest element in a €75 million upgrade of the Tipperary plant

At the announcement of MSD’s €40 million investment in its Ballydine plant in Co Tipperary were (from left) site lead Ger Carmody with  Liz O’Donnell, director of policy, government affairs and communications at MSD Ireland and Ger Brennan, managing director for human health at MSD Ireland.

At the announcement of MSD’s €40 million investment in its Ballydine plant in Co Tipperary were (from left) site lead Ger Carmody with Liz O’Donnell, director of policy, government affairs and communications at MSD Ireland and Ger Brennan, managing director for human health at MSD Ireland.

 

International pharma group MSD is investing €40 million to upgrade its Tipperary plant.

The bulk of the money will be spent on the installation of a new spray drying facility at the Ballydine facility. Spray drying improves solubility of tablets by patients, according to the company, and how medicines are absorbed by patients.

Until now, MSD – known in the United States as Merck – had no such facility in Ireland where it employs about 1,800 people. As a result, it was forced to send drugs from the Irish plant over to the US for this treatment before bringing them back to Europe, a spokesman for the company said.

“This investment reflects the growing importance of MSD Ireland’s operations to our global network,” said Ballydine site lead Ger Carmody. “The investment will ensure Ballydine continues to be well positioned for the ongoing development of new products providing the technologies that our newer products require.”

The spray drying facility is the latest element in a €75 million upgrade of the Tipperary plant, where the company employs around 600 people, over the past three years.

Mr Carmody said MSD’s Ballydine workforce was now leading the way in the development of new medicines, including the group’s new hepatitis C drug Zepatier, which is being manufactured at the Tipperary factory for patients worldwide.

The managing director of MSD human health Ger Brennan said the company’s Irish workforce – in Tipperary, Cork and Carlow – are playing a leading role in the production and development of next generation therapies.

MSD announced a separate investment of up €25 million to expand its clinical trials programme in Ireland earlier this year. The investment will focus on trials of cancer drugs over the next three years.